24 Seconds With J.J. Redick: Garnett’s Intensity
This weekly series from Clippers.com features a Q&A with Clippers players, coaches, alumni or those somehow tied to the Clippers’ organization. The next edition features shooting guard J.J. Redick.
LOS ANGELES – Kevin Garnett, now a consultant for the Clippers, returned to the team’s training facility before Tuesday’s practice for more 1-on-1 teaching with a variety of players.
Head coach Doc Rivers said it’s amazing to still see Garnett’s love for basketball after retirement and to see how much everyone loves being around that kind of passion. Garnett began Tuesday working with rookie Diamond Stone, then DeAndre Jordan and before long, even guards were swarming around to hear what he had to say.
“I think it’s awesome for everybody to see, even our coaches,” Rivers said. “We get jaded at times, too, because we’ve been around it a long time and you see that kind of stuff. It makes you feel good.”
Rivers said he couldn’t believe someone could have as much energy as Garnett until he coached him and realized how real it was every day. He recalled a time he had to put Garnett in timeout for 20 minutes before a playoff game to calm him and everyone else down.
J.J. Redick had his own memories of Garnett’s intensity, and he talked about that and more Tuesday morning before the Clippers’ practice and flight to Phoenix.
What’s it like to see how intense Garnett is now that he’s here?
JJ: “I’ve played with enough guys now that you hear KG stories and you hear about his intensity. He made Glen Davis cry, and I’ve been Glen’s teammate for I think four or five years – a couple years in Orlando and a couple years here. Glen had a lot of good stories about KG. Nothing really ever surprises me with him.”
Did you see any of those types of moments in games against him?
JJ: “When he was hurt in ’09 and we played them in the playoffs… I can’t remember what game it was, but it was one of the games in Boston during the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He was in a suit, and he was just, like, a total savage on the bench, just spitting. And the play required me to be in the right corner, so I had to walk over by him, and he was just going at me.”
Did you make the shot?
JJ: “I don’t think I shot on that possession; I just remember how intense he was. We might not have won that series and might not have made the Finals had he been healthy.”
You’ve had a few days off to practice following the loss. What did you accomplish or want to accomplish in that time?
JJ: “We talked about it the other night, we just have to be more consistent in everything we do – our execution, game plan. I think with defense especially, you have your core principles. If you do those consistently, then it’s easy to make, sort of, game-to-game adjustments. But, when you’re not doing your core principles consistently, you end up just guessing a lot. To be honest with you, that’s what bad teams do. So, we at times this year have looked like a bad team.”
How much do injuries and guys going in and out of the lineup contribute to that?
JJ: “A lot. Look, we’ve had a large part of the season playing without two of our best players. So, it’s been hard.”
This is the time of year when trade talk increases. How do you ignore the noise about movement?
JJ: “If you’re not able to deal with noise, you shouldn’t be on HoopsHype and Twitter.”